The Cardrona FIS ANC Slopestyle Finals presented by La Roche-Posay were set to be held today at Cardrona, but once again our plans were thwarted by the weather. Low visibility that followed this mornings high winds meant the athletes couldn’t see far enough down the course to safely compete.
Local athletes Ruby Andrews and Luca Harrington topped the women’s and men’s Freeski Slopestyle. with results from qualification on Saturday used as the final results.
At the end of the first run of qualifications Andrews was in second place and knew she had to do something special to secure the top spot; “My first run of qualification I put it down, and then one of my competitors went above me so I ended up putting down a switch misty 900 down which I have never done in competition before!”
“I am stoked, over the moon – this is my home mountain and coming away with a result like today, I couldn’t ask for anything better.” said Andrews.
Andrew’s was joined on the podium by Yuna Koga of Japan and local up and comer Madeleine Disbrowe.
Men’s Freeski Slopestyle winner Harrington said: “It definitely was challenging with the weather; qualification day was the best day we had so I just tried to put something down that was clean and turned out that it worked out in my favour, so I am pretty happy.”
Freeski judge Kat Alexander explained, “Luca’s first run was unreal, his right double cork 1260 tail grab was perfection and then he got massive amplitude on his switch right double cork 1260 on the final jump, that just blew us out of the water.”
Jesse Parkinson of Australia, winner of the Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle, was a standout competitor in his field. The judges were really impressed with the backside triple 1440 he was stomping, the only competitor performing this massive trick.
Japanese riders Hiroaki Kunitake and Taiga Hasegawa both put down strong performances in the rail section, but without the huge trick Parkinson was throwing down they had to settle for second and third, respectively.
Mari Fukada, Japan, claimed to top spot on the Women’s Snowboard Slopestyle podium. She was the only woman throwing down back-to-back 720s with good execution on the large jumps. Wānaka athletes Lucia Georgalli and Ava Beer finished in second and third, respectively.
The Slopestyle wraps up the Cardrona FIS ANC Freeski and Snowboard Halfpipe and Slopestyle presented by La Roche-Posay.
Next on the Winter Games NZ calendar is the North Face Frontier 2* event which is happening today at The Remarkables, followed later in the week by the 4* event.